It can be, as our friends who live there can tell you, a bit of a trick to get on and off the island. The drive itself isn't terribly difficult (minus the getting through NYC part), but it's long, and (because of the getting through NYC part) it's a trick to time things for meting the ferry.
Because of this, we decided to spend a night in Mystic, CT and make the last tiny bit of the trip the next day. Last year, on our way home from our Thanksgiving trip, we took a quick detour to this sweet spot to stop for lunch, and I knew I wanted to explore it more fully. Seriously, anyone who's seen the movie Mystic Pizza would practically be obligated to stop there, amirite? I'm right. The town, which is really part of two other towns, is home to Mystic Seaport, the nation's largest maritime museum.
We spent the night at the Whaler's Inn, right in the center of town, and had just enough time to wander over the drawbridge along Main Street and to take a quick look at Mystic Seaport. The town is just as quaint as you'd expect, with sweet shops lining Main Street. We were there at twilight, and the pools of light spilling onto the sidewalks were so inviting on a cold winter's night. Dinner? Well that was the best. I wanted a lobster roll, so we went back to the Ancient Mariner, the spot where we'd had lunch the year before. Ever in Mystic? Stop in there, especially in the winter when there's a fire roaring. You won't regret it.
You know, there are gazillions of New England coastal or riverside towns like this, but there's something about Mystic that just feels special. Maybe it's the drawbridge. Maybe it's the lobster roll. Maybe it's that movie I watched so long ago. Maybe it's simply that it's a special stop along the way of our special holiday.